Hello, I am a beautiful soul that has Borderline Personality Disorder. I have lived with it for 52 years, 41 of those completely undiagnosed. I was molested by my dad from the ages of 3 to 13, of which I started remembering in 2005 which was long after the event, long after the drug addiction and sexual abuse, the rapes, the inability to work…all of the things that society make one a “good human” I just couldn’t quit grasp. I was a square peg trying desperately to fit into a round hole until I had no more fight in me.

Living with undiagnosed BPD is horrifically difficult; not just on the person who has it, but for all those around the person. I was angry and so completely full of self-hate, and I truly believed that I was a huge mistake, there was no purpose here for me and I hated myself so much that I began carving on my wrists when I was 18. I grew up in a very Catholic, very dysfunctional family and carving on myself as a way to quiet all the inner pain was just highly unacceptable so I waited. I waited until I got kicked out of my parent’s home and ended up at my sister’s and doing my first bag of weed. I waited.

What I didn’t know then is that BPD waited as well.
For me, the reason I carved on myself was because it brought a stillness to all the ginormous negativity going on in my head. I was suffocating from the pain and rage in my soul and cutting was one way to quiet it down; the only way. Drinking and using wasn’t working anymore. Cutting quieted the voices in my head so I could functionally not function.

Back in the ’70’s my mom tried desperately to get mental health to recognize and identify what was wrong with me, but they couldn’t. They didn’t have the answers other than I was a needy child who would learn to fit into life if I just kept trying.

And so I did. I kept trying until it almost killed me. I spent 24 years without a roof of my own over my head. A great deal of that time I was living on the streets, eating out of garbage cans and doing whatever, or whoever, it took to survive. I got cleaned up when I was still 21 years old, in 1986. Oh I wish I could tell you that my life changed dramatically however it just didn’t.
I spent 19 years in AA before I got the BPD diagnosis. I got kicked out of a woman’s shelter for not being able to control my rage, and i was in a big city left to wander the streets all over again.

I was sent to a mental health professional (I had spent my whole life telling them precisely what I had thought of them) in order to receive SSI. That is when I was told the life changing news…”You have what is called BPD and we recommend DBT therapy”…and I was shocked.
Shocked that I actually, after all those years, was told yes, in fact I was not crazy; I simply had an over abundance of large emotions and I felt at a level most people never do…

And that was ten years ago. I went into DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) for a year and learned skills; I learned how to pause, I learned how to breathe and I learned that yes, in fact, my brain wasn’t wired the same way as everyone else’s AND THAT’S OK. I haven’t cut on myself for a very long time (Thank Goddess) I have been clean and sober for 30 years and most important…I have payed my own apartment rent for 10 years now.

I live in an apartment on the coast, and it is a place I have always dreamed of. I know peace and am not afraid of the okay that happens regularly in my life today. It has been a lot of hard work, I do mean A LOT, and it is so very rewarding. Today I am not a problem to be fixed; I am a soul to be loved. Borderline Personality Disorder is what I have. It is not who I am.

IMG_7443I am a strong, honest, independent woman coming into my own Gypsy Soul. I love the ocean, the woods, strong coffee, deep conversation and solitude.
Thanks for reading my story.

Lisa can be found on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook